Pioneering Centres of Inspiration

Sustainability mindset – challenging the norm and raising questions on pedagogy and practice

A few months ago, in April 2021, Janet Packer and Lindsey Bielby shared some of their vision for Growing Wild Outdoor Nursery at an online meeting hosted by Sheffield branch of Early Education.  I was struck by how they framed their approach in practice, towards their core values of wellbeing and sustainability, as a sustainability …

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Outdoor Learning in Carraig Briste & Killegney Early Years

One of the key intentions of Early Childhood Outdoors has been to create a strong and resilient meshwork that brings together the life journeys (both past achievements and future aspirations) of the very many people around the UK and Ireland who hold a strong belief in the importance and value of being outdoors for young …

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Nature showed us the way

It’s always fascinating to listen the thinking that sits underneath provision and practice outdoors, and to hear about the journey people have taken and how that happened.  A couple of weeks ago, Rachel was part of a small group within the Early Childhood Outdoors meshwork discussing (online) how those involved in all-outdoor nurseries might develop …

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Opening up the outdoors after lockdown

Having opened last October to the wettest autumn ever and then had to close in March due to the lockdown Janet Packer, co-owner/manager of Growing Wild Outdoor Nursery in Barnsley, continues to share their fully outdoor journey with the ECO meshwork as they cautiously reopened this June – with the same optimistic surprise that many …

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Staying true to why we work in the way we do

As settings begin preparations for moving out of lockdown towards a new normal, a great deal of anxious thinking and careful planning is being carried out throughout the UK.  We’ve heard before from a parent in the Beatle Woods Outdoor Nursery community and in this post, owner/manager Rachel Macbeth-Webb shares a passionate call for us …

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Silver Linings

Following the shock of having to temporarily close or significantly limit the numbers of children attending during the emergency pandemic response, emotional upheaval and destabilisation for staff is likely – especially in a newly opened setting that is working hard at becoming established.  Negative feelings can easily be front-of-mind, perhaps focusing upon what is being …

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The Joy of Moving Forward in Thought

This week’s ECO blog post is an intriguing reflection about the power of life outdoors as a two-year-old for adding verbal language to his toolkit for thinking and sharing experiences.  As a writer, I am very aware of how I run a whole range of word-strings back and forth in order to say what I …

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Vegetable patch to Ofsted registration in 4 months!

So, after 18 months of set backs, we sat in the office at Wigfield Farm, Lindsey and I, waiting to sign the contract for the land that would become our nursery. My hands were shaking by the time the contract arrived at ten past! As we walked back to the car our emotions changed from …

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An Outdoor Nursery for Babies… Really?

by Carol Duffy, Early Childhood Ireland I stood transfixed in the centre of a field in Farley, near Salisbury, taking in a spectacle that took my breath away. Every part of my being knew I was witnessing the pure essence of nature pedagogy and childhood play provision. The overwhelming beauty of children at play in nature …

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